The next generation of computer interfaces will bring together the physical and digital worlds


For many years I have believed that our everyday interfaces with computers are deeply limited, and that creating more effective interfaces is central to our future. In my 2002 book Living Networks I selected Interfaces as one of the three key enablers that would bring the networks to life.

Pranav Mistry of MIT Media Lab’s SixthSense has made his mission integrating our gestures in the physical world with the digital world. In this video taken at TED India last month, he tells his personal journey of exploration, beginning by taking apart his computer mouse, moving on to monitoring his gestures, headmounting cameras and projectors.

Some of the technologies he shows include framing photographs by holding up his fingers, projecting live updates onto newspapers, making hands into phone dials, and far, far more. This is ultimately about bringing together the physical and digital worlds, helping making us more human.

In the video, Pranav tells of his plans to open source the technologies he has developed to provide broader applications for them. The video is well worth seeing.